The Social Class Worldviews of Chinese International Students in the United States


  • Yunkyoung L. Garrison Bates College
  • Soeun Park California State University, Bakersfield, California, USA.
  • Chi W. Yeung VA Connecticut West Haven
  • Zongqi Li University of Houston
  • Yu Chak Sunny Ho Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at Seton Hall University
  • Jennifer Chang-Tran Ascend Behavior Partners



social class worldview, Chinese international student, multicultural, qualitative, higher education


In this qualitative study, we investigated the social class worldviews of Chinese International Students (CIS) in the United States. Social class worldviews are a constellation of beliefs, attitudes, and values that individuals use to maintain a sense of psychological equilibrium within their perceived social class groups and culture. Having interviewed eleven CIS in a midwestern city in the United States, the researchers found that their experiences reflected five themes: (a) social class consciousness; (b) social class socialization; (c) social class resources; (d) social class values; and (e) social class challenges. Suggestions for research and implications for higher education are discussed.

Author Biographies

Yunkyoung L. Garrison, Bates College

Yunkyoung L. Garrison, PhD, is an assistant professor in the department of psychology at Bates College, Lewiston, Maine, USA. Her research interests include multicultural counseling, clinical supervision, vocational psychology, liberation psychology, and community engagement involving immigrant and refugee groups. 

Soeun Park, California State University, Bakersfield, California, USA.

Soeun Park, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at California State University, Bakersfield, California, USA. Her current research projects include socio-political, vocational, identity development of immigrant youth and adults, the intersection of gender, race, and class, and multilingual therapy practice and training.

Chi W. Yeung, VA Connecticut West Haven

Chi W. Yeung, PhD, is an Assistant Attending Psychologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. His major research interests lie in the area of health psychology and multiculturalism.

Zongqi Li, University of Houston

Zongqi Li, M.A., is a doctoral student in the Department of Psychological, Health, & Learning Sciences at the University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA. Her research interests lie in the area of masculinity, intimate partner violence, acculturation, and multiculturalism.

Yu Chak Sunny Ho, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at Seton Hall University

Yu Chak Sunny Ho, PhD, is a licensed psychologist at Interconnections Healing Center, PLLC in Seattle, Washington, USA. His major research interests lie in the area of multiculturalism, social justice issues, intersecting identities related to mental health issues, and international students’ and immigrants’ mental health issues.

Jennifer Chang-Tran, Ascend Behavior Partners

Jennifer Chang-Tran, PhD, is a licensed psychologist at Legacy Community Health Services in Houston, Texas. Her major research interests lie in the area of multiculturalism, autism, and vaccine hesitancy.


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How to Cite

Garrison, Y., Park, S., Yeung, C. W., Li, Z., Ho, Y. C. S., & Chang-Tran, J. (2022). The Social Class Worldviews of Chinese International Students in the United States. Journal of International Students, 13(1), 40–58.



Research Articles (English)